Department of Anthropology
The Drive to Love and Who We Choose
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Watters Theater, 7:00 PM
Anthropologist Helen Fisher distinguishes three primary drives that evolved for mating and reproduction: the sex drive, romantic love and attachment and discusses how these three brain systems interact. Using her and her colleagues’ brain scanning studies (fMRI) of men and women who are happily in love, rejected in love and in love long term, she discusses the basic traits of romantic love and the evolution of love-at-first-sight, addiction to love, and how SSRI antidepressants can jeopardize the brain systems for romantic love and attachment. She then focuses on her current research with the Internet dating site, Chemistry.com. She discusses her data on 40,000 men and women to propose a theory for the evolution of four broad cognitive/behavioral trait constellations associated with the neural systems for dopamine/norepinephrine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen/oxytocin; then she discusses her data on mate choice among 28,000 individuals to propose a biological theory for who we love. She concludes with some global trends that are shaping contemporary patterns of sexual behavior, romance and marriage.
Helen Fisher, PhD Biological Anthropologist, is a Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolution Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University. She has written five books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how your biological temperament shapes who you are and who you love. For more information, see www.helenfisher.com.